Channing D. Phillips

Channing Durward Phillips[3] (born March 9, 1958) is an attorney who served as the acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from October 2015 to September 2017. Phillips is the son of Channing E. Phillips, a minister and civil rights activist who became the first African-American to have his name placed in nomination for President of the United States by a major political party in 1968.[4]

Channing D. Phillips
Channing D. Phillips.jpg
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
In office
October 19, 2015 – September 24, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byVincent H. Cohen, Jr. (acting)
Succeeded byJessie K. Liu
Personal details
Channing Durward Phillips

(1958-03-09) March 9, 1958 (age 62)[1][2]
Washington, D.C.
EducationUniversity of Virginia (BA)
Howard University (JD)


Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Phillips graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980 and the Howard University School of Law in 1986.[5] In 1990, Phillips became a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division in the Organized Crime & Racketeering Section. In 1994, he moved to the United States Attorney's Office in D.C. In 2010, he returned to the Justice Department to serve in the Office of the Attorney General.

In 2015, after Ronald Machen's resignation as U.S. Attorney, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton recommended Phillips for the position.[6] Phillips was nominated by President Obama to be the next U.S. Attorney on October 8, 2015, and designated acting U.S. Attorney on October 19, 2015.[5] In December 2015, Phillips announced the closure of a long-running and controversial investigation into former Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who was not charged.[6][7]

During the 2017 dismissal of U.S. attorneys, Phillips was not asked to resign because he had not yet been confirmed and remained acting U.S. Attorney.[8] On June 12, 2017, Donald J. Trump nominated Jessie K. Liu to serve as U.S. Attorney. She became his successor after the United States Senate confirmed her nomination in September 2017.


  1. ^ Committee Questionnaire
  2. ^ [United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (Washington, D.C., 1993-2008)
  3. ^
  4. ^ McQuiston, John T. (November 12, 1987). "Channing E. Phillips Dies at 59; Minister and Civil Rights Leader". New York Times.
  5. ^ a b Bio of Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  6. ^ a b Marimow, Ann E. (January 13, 2016). "Former D.C. top prosecutor joins private law firm". Washington Post.
  7. ^ "Long-running probe ends without charges against former D.C. mayor Vincent Gray". Washington Post. December 9, 2015.
  8. ^ King, Colbert I. (March 12, 2017). "Who will replace Channing Phillips as U.S. attorney for D.C.?". Washington Post.